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YMMV / Ace Ventura

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  • Acceptable Targets:
    • Obsessive sports fans. Ray Finkle's Sanity Slippage was the direct result of years of public shaming from local rednecks vandalizing his house and declaring him the pariah of their town for the heinous crime of... missing a field goal.
    • People who get sex change operations. It's important to distinguish that Ray Finkle is not transgender; the motivation there was to get away with murder, not to resolve a disconnect between physical sex and gender identity... but the joke only works if the viewer is grossed out by people challenging accepted gender norms.
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    • In When Nature Calls, the rich, snooty couple at the Consulate party. They come off as so boorish that Ace punching the Monopoly Guy-lookalike and wearing him like fur doesn't seem horrifying. Though it was the lady who was the most hostile to Ace, the audience probably wouldn't laugh at the hero punching a woman. She may be an acceptable target for ridicule, but not for slapstick violence.
  • Awesome Music: The opening sequence in When Nature Calls, where Ace rescues a raccoon stranded on a mountain. Appropriately, it's grand in scope and exciting.
  • And You Thought It Would Fail: The book Homey Don't Play That revealed it was a running joke on the set of In Living Color how stupid the movie sounded and openly mocked Carrey on how it was going to flop. Guess who got the last laugh.
  • Better on DVD: Averted so far. There's never been a DVD release of either film containing all the great deleted scenes we get to see when these films are broadcast on television.
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  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The Destructo-Nookie scene between Ace and Melissa in the first movie that seemingly came out of nowhere.
  • Broken Base
    • Which is funnier: the first or the second film?
    • Whether or not the "Einhorn is a man!" joke holds up despite it's Values Dissonance.
  • Critical Dissonance: The first film was widely panned by critics. Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel went as far as declaring that Jim Carrey would never have a career as a movie star (though they'd eat their words after watching him in The Truman Show). But audiences found the movie hilarious, and between it, The Mask and Dumb and Dumber Jim Carrey became the highest paid actor in Hollywood for a while.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Homo/transphobic as it may be, Ace just imploding over the discovery is Einhorn is actually a man until it's clearly meant to be an overreaction arguably saves the joke from being completely unfunny all these years later. If helps if you go by Word of God that it's meant to show the irony of how the simple act of kissing a man can destroy someone as badass as Ace, or as a send up of The Crying Game.
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  • Draco in Leather Pants: Ray Finkle/Lois Einhorn tends to get empathy from people who see them as transgender, mostly stemming from the Reality Subtext of the injustices towards real-life trans people, ignoring the fact that they're also a murderous lunatic who transitioned not because he was a woman who was assigned the male gender at birth, but as a front for a revenge scheme that involved animal abuse and murder.note 
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Most people would really like to forget that Ace Ventura Jr. even exists.
  • Foe Yay: Sean Young plays good heavies. The movie is full of sexual tension between Ace and Lois. (The difference between testicles and ovaries is apples and oranges.)
  • Fountain of Memes: Almost all of Ace's one-liners have been quoted frequently since the movie's release.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Ace's "Einhorn is a man!" freakout in light of the Trans Panic defense and several high profile murders of trans women by people who either freaked out on realising they were trans, or tried to cover up a relationship with them.
    • Ace Ventura Jr. has a crazy scientist trying to save "ugly animals", stating that they're endangered as well, but unlike pandas nobody cares about them since they aren't cute enough. One mentioned species is the Chinese Paddlefish...which was declared extinct in 2019 after its last remaining spawning grounds were blocked off by dams, and its decline largely ignored until it was too late, simply because they weren't as "charismatic" as other endangered species like tigers, rhinos and sharks, and thus little effort or attention was given to their conservation.
    • The backstory of the missed field goal takes on a new uncomfortable light following 2019's "Double Doink" incident in which Cody Parkey's game-winning attempt struck both the upright and crossbar on the way to a Chicago Bears loss in the closing seconds of the Wild Card round game. While blame on the kicker himself subsided somewhat after replays ruled that the ball was tipped on approach, the wave of harassment and threats against Parkey afterward can feel eerily reminiscent of Finkle's backstory.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In the first film, when Einhorn asks what Ace is doing at the police station, he sarcastically says "I was the second gunman on the grassy knoll." A YA novelization changes it to Ace claiming "I helped the Grinch steal Christmas."
    • You can't help but view Ace's freakout when he discovers that Einhorn is really Ray Finkle in a whole different way after seeing I Love You Phillip Morris (ironically, Ace was at least partially inspired by a character Jim Carrey played on In Living Color! called The Overly Confident Gay Man).
    • Speaking of that, former sports athlete Bruce Jenner would follow in former athlete Finkle's/Einhorn's footsteps 21 years later... as transwoman Caitlyn Jenner.
    • The scene in the sequel where Ace takes an arrow to the knee... twice.
    • Minnesota Vikings kicker Blair Walsh missed a last second field goal in a 2016 game against Seattle, and was subsequently dropped from the team. Video footage of the field goal in question shows that the ball was held laces-in.
    • The opening scene of When Nature Calls is a parody of Cliffhanger and features a raccoon. Cliffhanger starred Sylvester Stallone and Michael Rooker, who later reunited in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2... which also features a raccoon.
  • It Was His Sled: Spoilered for consistency on this Wiki, but: Finkle is Einhorn.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Ray Finkle/Lois Einhorn. See Unintentionally Sympathetic.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Allllllrighty then!
    • Loo-hoo-zeh-her!note 
    • Reee-hee-hee-hee-hee-hee-heeally...
    • Who doesn't know at least one person in any group of nerds who will always announce "Do NOT go in there! WOOO!" after returning from the bathroom? Or when someone else returns from the bathroom. Or when the bathroom is mentioned.
    • LACES OUT! (specially in every NFL game decided by a missed kick)
    • Finkle/Einhorn became memetic enough to get its own World of Warcraft NPC.
    • "New England Clam Chowder." "Is that the Red, or the White?"
    • Briefly "Frankly, that's none of your damn business, and I'll thank you to stay out of my personal affairs." became a catch-all smart-alec answer to any question.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
  • Sequelitis: The second movie is often found inferior, particularly for relying on more Toilet Humor and making Ace more of a jerkass. Notably, Carrey detested working on it so much that it directly lead to his declaration that he would never do a sequel to one of his own movies ever again.
  • Squick:
    • In-Universe, this is Ace's reaction to finding out that Einhorn is really Ray Finkle. His resulting Shower of Angst isn't pretty, either, as Jim Carrey probably isn't someone a lot of people want to see naked. There's also the giant wad of gum he chews in the scene after, the result of chewing the entire package all at once.
    • Einhorn/Finkle's comically oversized penis tucked between his/her legs when Ace reveals her secret. The split second we see it is all that's needed to drive home how gross it looks.
    • The scene in the second movie where his fake rhino's air conditioner fails, forcing him to stick his head out, and when it does people watching the rhino are shocked to see a rhino give birth to Ace. Did we mention that he's naked at the time? The scene actually gets cut in some broadcasts of the movie.
    • The scene in the second film in which Ace pounds a heavily pregnant tribeswoman's belly, causing her baby to rocket out of her vagina and land in a fellow tribesman's lap. This scene likewise gets cut in some broadcasts.
  • Special Effect Failure: The explosive used to flip Ace's jeep in the second film is very conspicuous when it goes off.
  • Tear Jerker: That first scene in the sequel when a raccoon Ace was determined to save breaks loose and falls. It's supposed to be a parody of the opening of Cliffhanger but for some people this doesn't help to make the scene funny at all. Granted it is possible to see it as Black Comedy when Ace attempts to grab its paw as if it's a human hand or him becoming so despondent afterwards that he becomes a monk in Tibet, but it may not be enough to make up for the sadness of seeing an innocent animal fall to its death.
  • Uncertain Audience: Ace Ventura Jr. was made for children, yet a lot of the humor was too sophisticated for them and unless they were allowed to watch the first two films, they might not even know what or who Ace Ventura even is. Meanwhile, fans who grew up with the 90s films wouldn't want the see it either due to the Sequel Gap and not appealing to what made the other films great (nevermind the lack of Carrey).
  • Unfortunate Implications: Even in 1994, the film was derided for its homo- and trans-phobic implications. This article analyzes the first film from a transfeminist perspective and it doesn't come off very well at all.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: All Ray Finkle ever did was miss a field goal. He didn't deserve to have his NFL career ruined and be branded a pariah by his entire hometown, even though he missed. Finkle's parents suffered serious trauma themselves from the fallout, with his father now paranoid to the point of answering the door armed with a shotgun and his mother clearly driven to permanent insanity. Ray Finkle would be a Designated Villain, if not for his lust for murderous revenge against Dan Marino, whom Finkle still blames for everything for supposedly not holding the ball laces out — even if he did, Finkle's willingness to kidnap and kill innocent people for the sake of this revenge diminishes the sympathy for him.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Ace isn’t shown to be that great of a guy, what with his annoying antics and harassment. Though per Jim Carrey, he's supposed to be a parody of this kind of character. Plus his sincere love of animals and the fact most people he harasses deserve it helps endear him in the eyes of many people.
  • Values Dissonance: The "Einhorn is a man" gag. Back in 1994 it was, at best, a cheap laugh and at worst juvenile and mean-spirited. But after decades of increased visibility for transgender rights and the "trans panic" defense being seriously called into question, it can come off as outright hateful. Even Tom Shadyac's already questionable defense that the gag was more at Ace's expense (that he's tough enough to catch bullets in his teeth but goes to pieces from just kissing a man) doesn't hold up as well these days.
  • "Weird Al" Effect:
    • After Ace Ventura was first released, some moviegoers believed the Mission: Impossible theme (which is used in the movie) originated from it. It was a short-lived effect, fortunately, as Tom Cruise set the record straight two years later.
    • Due to the generally different audiences and how often the other film is likely to be on TV, younger audiences can probably be forgiven for not knowing that the Unsettling Gender Reveal scene is a fairly direct parody of The Crying Game, even if it did play the song the parodied film is named after.
    • Ace's impersonation of William Shatner in The Twilight Zone (1959) episode "Nightmare at 20,000" feet might slip past some younger viewers.
    • The opening scene in the sequel with the raccoon is a direct parody of Cliffhanger. However given that this movie is far better remembered and easier to find in syndication it’s likely many years later that newer viewers are unaware that it’s a parody at all.
    • Ace's "Damn I'm good" quote was mostly attributed to Duke Nukem than Ace himself.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: Between the animal-related plot and Ace himself both looking and behaving like a living cartoon character, it's not too surprising that parents mistook this for a family-friendly film, not learning about the explicitly sexual humor and gender-bending subplot until it was too late. The fact that it later got turned into a Saturday Morning Cartoon didn't help.
    • Due to the reasons stated above, broadcasts on FX networks carry the TV-MA rating, despite the movie being rated PG-13 upon release.


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